The director of the feature film “Hanoi Hilton,” which depicts the North Vietnamese POW compound where John McCain was held, is being forbidden by a Hollywood studio from promoting the 20th anniversary edition of the DVD or sharing footage of McCain before Election Day, according to Politico.com.
Politico reports the film's writer-director, Lionel Chetwynd, a longtime Hollywood figure and member of the conservative community there, received a warning from a Warner Bros. publicist that showing either the film or a special interview with McCain was “prohibited.”
Chetwynd told a reporter that he and his attorney have been trying to get to the bottom of the situation, but to no avail. Chetwynd was reportedly told the studio didn't want to affect the election in any way.
That, according to Politico, “seems a bit far-fetched considering the impact a bonus feature might have on a national presidential election. The film is a fictional retelling about American POWs held at the infamous North Vietnamese prison where McCain and others were kept during the war, and features a number of composite characters based on real-life prisoners Chetwynd interviewed.”
Chetwynd had spoken with McCain before making the film and recently interviewed him in late May for the upcoming DVD’s bonus features. McCain doesn't say anything that could be considered newsmaking or controversial, according to one person who has seen the edited bonus footage.
Warner Home Video didn't respond immediately to a request for comment. Excerpt.
If Senator John McCain has more to say publicly about his time in a North Vietnamese prison before next month's election, it will not be with help from Warner Brothers.
The studio moved quietly over the last few weeks to block any promotional showing of an interview -- tied to the release of the first DVD version of the 1987 film "Hanoi Hilton" -- in which Senator McCain spoke of his imprisonment in the Hoa Lo prison during the Vietnam War. The studio is concerned that any pre-election showing might embroil the project in electoral politics.
"It's just us trying to be cautious and not affect the election one way or the other," said Ronnee Sass, a spokeswoman for the studio's home entertainment division.
"W" and Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone, 62, talked to Reuters about what drove him to make "W." and to release it at this time.
Q: Why is it important to release "W." so near to the 2008 U.S. presidential elections when President George W. Bush is not running for office again?
A: "We are dealing with the phenomenon of Bush and whoever wins the election, his impact is going to be in the shadow of this huge presence that existed for eight years and which changed the world. I think a lot of people should come because it's good for them, before the election, to think about who they elected in the last eight years, and about where we are as a country right now."
(Excerpt) Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE49F3HO20081016